Viking River Cruises will be adding 24 more river cruise
vessels to its fleet, Viking chairman Torstein Hagen announced at the
christening of the company’s newest ocean ship the Viking Sun in Shanghai this
Hagen displayed a slide during his presentation indicating
that in addition to the 65 vessels already in the Viking river fleet,
the company has plans for 24 more.
Those 24 vessels include the seven ships Viking already
announced it would launch in 2019. Viking has not provided a launch timeline
for the additional 17 vessels.
Viking will be launching six of its Longship class of
vessels on the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers next year: the Viking Einar,
Sigrun, Sigyn, Tir, Ullur and Vali. It will launch a smaller Longship-style
vessel, the Viking Helgrim, on Portugal's Douro River.
The announcement comes after Viking had slowed down its
shipbuilding pace over the past couple years. Viking is launching one new vessel this year and not in Europe -- the 52-passenger Viking
Ra on the Egyptian Nile. The company launched two Longships in Europe last
year after launching six in 2016, 12 in 2015 and 18 in 2014. Including the two
vessels last year, Viking launched a total of 55 Longships in six years.
The return in river cruise shipbuilding momentum comes amid
big growth in Viking's ocean cruise division, as well.
At a press event in New York this past fall, Hagen said that the company
hasn't forgotten about growing its river cruise business.
"Our business started on the rivers, and we also have
aspirations on the rivers," Hagen said in October.
Viking introduced its Longship class of river cruise vessels
in 2012. The 190-passenger ships have a sleek Scandinavian design, a variety
of cabin configurations, staterooms with balconies and the Aquavit Terrace indoor/outdoor
dining and lounge venue.